Money management has always been about keeping track of incomes and expenses. Although still viable, manual spreadsheets and the pen-and-notebook approach are no longer optimal ways of maintaining a budget in the age of the smartphone.
We took a look at some of the top money management apps that use online connectivity and automation to give you a clear view of your finances. Some of these apps can also help you accomplish specific financial goals like paying down debt or saving for a specific item.
Here, we've chosen the top five money management apps to consider in 2021. Here's our take on them:
|Budgeting App||Cost||Avg. User Rating (App Store and Google Play)||Features||Automation and Connectivity|
|Mint||Free||4.6/5||Outstanding||Connects to bank accounts in real-time|
|EveryDollar||Free + paid premium version||4.55/5||Great||Only the paid version connects to bank accounts|
|Simple||Free||4.4/5||Great||Combined online banking and budgeting tool|
|YNAB||Paid||4.5/5||Good||Option to connect to bank accounts|
|PocketGuard||Free||4.5/5||Room for improvement||Connects to bank accounts|
Based on user feedback and overall utility, Mint is probably the best free budgeting app currently available. It is an outstanding financial tool that comprises a selection of impressive features.
- Mint connects to your bank accounts in real time.
- It features a customizable dashboard giving you a comprehensive overview of your financial situation. You can check your net worth, credit card debt, investments, and available cash through the app.
- The app allows you to pull your credit score for free. It also gives you money management tips as well as tips on how to improve your credit score.
- Mint maintains in-house experts who offer users tips on financial planning, debt relief, and investments.
The app is free. It offers various financial products like personal loans, insurance, and credit cards through its dedicated marketplace.
Sporting an Editor’s Choice badge in Google Play, Mint has elicited overwhelmingly positive reviews from users. Its current Google Play rating is 4.5 stars out of 5.
EveryDollar is a money management app focused on budgeting, using a zero-based budgeting approach. The app allocates every dollar not spent on essentials to debt repayment.
The base app is free, although to connect to bank accounts in real time, users need to purchase the Ramsey+ version, which costs $129.99 per year.
- EveryDollar synchronizes over desktop and mobile devices.
- It uses an aggressive strategy to eliminate debt and rack up savings.
- It connects to bank accounts in real-time.
User feedback on the app is excellent. It has earned a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 on the App Store. Some users have complained about synchronization issues with bank accounts and the necessity to download additional apps once upgraded to the paid version, though.
Simple is a combination banking and budgeting app that allows users to set up their recurring expenses and savings goals. The app has a Safe-to-Spend feature which takes the user’s account balance, subtracts the amount earmarked for recurring bills and financial goals, and tells the user exactly how much money is left over to spend. Other features such as the ability to set up round-up rules for automatic savings make the app user- and budget-friendly.
With a rating of 4.6 in the App Store and 4.2 in the Google Play Store, this free app has some interesting features that make it worth a try for those who like the idea of combining their online banking experience with an all-in-one budgeting tool.
4. YNAB (You Need a Budget)
With YNAB, we leave behind the realm of free money management apps. This zero-based budgeting tool that aims to predict your financial needs and allocates money proactively at the beginning of the month costs $12 per month or $84 per year.
For that money, YNAB gives you:
- Purposeful allocation of every dollar of your income.
- An option to automate budgeting by connecting to your bank accounts.
- Apps for a wide range of mobile platforms, including iPads, Alexa, and Apple Watch.
- Ways to account for infrequent expenses.
- A practical approach to eliminating debt.
Based on its App Store and Google Play reviews, YNAB’s users love the app. Many have credited it with keeping their financial lives on track for years. Some users have complained about synchronization issues, however. Others consider the app too expensive.
In some ways, PocketGuard is like the poor man’s Mint. It offers a similar suite of features, yet it suffers layout-wise, and it lacks functions you would expect it to have.
That said, being a free app, PocketGuard is still a reasonable choice for many.
- It comes with a simple and intuitive user interface.
- It supports different currencies.
- It allows for expense categorization.
Users love PocketGuard, in its Android as well as iOS version. The majority of user reviews are positive, rating the app 5 stars out of 5. Even happy users acknowledge the need for a more advanced grouping system, however. The app is not immune to errors and connection problems.
Grab one of these apps if you feel that you need budgeting and money management tips. They can help you save money and get out of debt.
If you are struggling to repay your debt and feel that you need something a bit stronger than a money management app can provide, it may be time to look into your other debt relief options. Call a ClearOne Certified Debt Specialist today at 866-481-1597 to discuss your unique situation and get a free savings estimate.